Legal U.S. Oscar betting for the second time
Plenty of people have tried to guess who will take home the Academy Award at an Oscars party or with friends. New Jersey –and now Indiana take the movie awards to the next level.
In 2019, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement gave sportsbooks the all-clear to accept wagers on the Oscars. It was an unforged territory for regulated US sports betting, to great success. New Jersey was the only state that offered legal Oscar betting last year, but Indiana joined the party in 2020. Nevada has never booked action on the Oscars. Additionally, other states such as West Virginia and Pennsylvania don’t allow wagering on anything that is not explicitly a sporting event.
How does Oscar betting work?
There is really only one type of bet sportsbooks will offer on the Oscars. Each nominee in a category has moneyline odds that they will take home the award.
The nominations for the 2020 Academy Awards were announced on Monday, Jan. 13 (scroll up to see the “Bix Six” category nominees). Scroll down the page for current odds on the 2020 Oscar nominees.
As an example of how Oscar betting works, let’s take a look at the 2020 nominees for Best Director. Here are the five nominees and sample odds for each one:
- Sam Mendes: -670
- Bong Joon Ho: +375
- Quentin Tarantino: +1,200
- Martin Scorsese: +2,800
- Todd Phillips: +5,000
The favorite to win the award is Mendes (-670), who directed the film 1917. If you bet $67 on Cuaron to win and he does, you would get your $67 back and profit $10. In other words, you would have to wager $67 to win $10 (or $6.70 to win $1, and so on).
Let’s say you bet $10 on Tarantino (+1,200) and he upsets though. Then you would win back your $10 bet and profit $120. In other words, you would win $120 for every $10 you wagered (or $12 for every $1, and so on).
Because there are countless awards show leading up to the actual Oscars, there is typically a clear frontrunner in every category. That means steep moneylines on the likely winners. These bets require you wager a lot to win a little. However, if you can accurately predict an upset, you can make a tidy profit.
This year is not a great year for upsets, at least in the major categories. With a shorter window between Oscar nominations and the awards, there is not as much time for an underdog’s campaign to develop the momentum to beat the favorite.
However, in the smaller categories, there are some more competitive categories where you can get good value on an underdog bet that actually wins.
Where can you bet on Oscars?
So far, New Jersey and Indiana are the only states willing to offer Oscar bets. We don’t know exactly how many sportsbooks will offer Oscar betting yet and on which categories. So far, New Jersey boasts five sportsbooks (DraftKings, FanDuel, Fox Bet, 888 Sportsbook and Caesars) with posted odds. DraftKings is also taking wagers in Indiana.
The “Big Six” categories are:
- Best Picture
- Best Director
- Best Actor
- Best Actress
- Best Supporting Actor
- Best Supporting Actress
Oscars party games
An Oscars viewing party is a fun way to get your movie-loving friends together. While you’re at it, make it even more interactive with some Oscars party games.
Click here to download the 2020 Oscars betting sheet. Have your guests check off who they think will win and give out prizes for the three with the most correct picks.
Next up is Oscars Bingo. These four different bingo cards have squares featuring different events that will or could happen during the ceremony. Hand them out to your guests, watch for the squares to fill up, and out prizes to Bingo winners. Click here to download the full PDF for 2020 Oscar Bingo.
Check out our full guide to hosting an Oscars party–lights, camera, action!
Why can’t I bet on the Oscars in Las Vegas?
Nevada has only ever taken bets on sporting events, and events that actually take place on the field of play. Regulators have never allowed betting on something that is not a sport.